Real-Time Information and Insight for Manufacturers
Information powers improvement — yet many manufacturers are powerless. Most manufacturing leaders don’t know what’s happening in their plants right now.
The information vacuum is even worse at SMEs: executives at these companies can rarely get their hands on real-time information regarding critical metrics. For example, less than a third of SMEs have a real-time capability to monitor and measure process-specific safety within their plants. Worst of all, a staggering percentage of SMEs have no information about key performances (Figure 1). A full 11 percent have no capability to track safety.
Capability to monitor and measure
Location-specific inventory levels
Process-specific pace or speed
Individual equipment or machine performance
In-plant material handling performance
Process-specific sustainability performance
External logistics/distribution performance
Respondents rated capability on a scale of 1-5, where 1=No capability and 5=Real-time capability.
Imagine working at one of the SMEs that don’t know if equipment is operating (11 percent), or how much inventory is lying around (12 percent), or internal cycle times (12 percent).
Leaders at SMEs often rely on weekly or monthly reports to see how well — or poorly — they’ve performed. These “lag measures” are frequently so far removed from root causes that drive them that tackling those issues is impossible. Only with “lead indicators” can manufacturers see — and react — to problems now while boosting performance tomorrow.
Appropriate lead metrics vary based on the type of operations within a company. For example, an asset-intensive operation will focus on measures related to equipment, such as unplanned machine downtime. Real-time monitoring and tracking of downtime will A) trigger repairs to stop the problem and B) indicate potential damage to top and bottom lines if the problem persists.
Similarly, labor-intensive operations will look at employee productivity figures — e.g., pieces produced per hour or minute, as well as related metrics that impair labor performance (safety, absenteeism, labor turnover).
But it’s not enough to identify lead indicators. Supervisors and front-line associates must also:
Understand what they mean to the business: A single reworked product may seem inconsequential until the cost of rework is clearly identified, especially if that cost reduces the employee bonus pool.
Know where to find them: Lead measures should be accessible and visible throughout the facility.
Have the skills and authority to take action: Employees must have the problem-solving training that enables them to fix problems within their control, or to escalate problems to those who can assist.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or email@example.com
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for